School board asks for input on election
by PI Staff
Jan 31, 2013 | 1443 views | 3 3 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The public can weigh in on possible changes to the way that school trustees are elected during a special meeting of the Patterson Joint Unified School District board at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4. The meeting is at the district office, 510 Keystone Pacific Parkway.

During the public hearing, trustees will discuss changing from a seven-member board to a five-member board and having residents vote for representatives based on where they live.

The California Voting Rights Act of 2001 has made at-large elections in school districts and cities open to legal attacks, so many cities and school districts have adopted a “by-trustee” style of election. In a by-trustee election, only people who live in a candidate’s geographic area are allowed to vote for that candidate.

At the board’s Dec. 10 meeting, David Soldani of the Fresno-based law firm Atkinson, Lloyd Ruud & Romo presented the board with demographic information about Patterson and its voting population, breaking it down into categories such as Latino voting population, citizens age 18 and older and population by race.

Having an election to change the way trustees are voted in can be costly, however. As a result, many school districts seek waivers of the voter-approval requirement from the state board of education.

The regular meeting of the Patterson Unified board will immediately follow the public hearing Monday.

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January 31, 2013
You make a good point Sergio but districts through out the state, including city municipalities, have spent millions of dollars on law suits... I doubt PUSD can afford that!
February 02, 2013
Oh I know its unfortunate..but I hope this move is really thought out.
January 31, 2013
While it may bring on more accountability to have trustees selected from geographic regions, it also presents a dynamic where more politics come into play. Instead of a board looking out for the best interest of all students and schools in the district, we can see folks only looking out for their constituents, especially when election time is near. Personally PUSD is too small for this type of configuration

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